An article published in the May 1995 issue of Inside WANO stated that it would be hard to imagine the WANO Moscow Centre without Mikhail Isaev; and these words are as true today as they were 19 years ago.
Mikhail has worked for WANO since its inauguration in May 1989, responsible for managing its Operating Experience programme in the Moscow Centre. This year, as we mark 25 years of WANO, we also celebrate the 75th birthday of one of WANO's most experienced and longest serving members of staff.
Following studies at the Saint Petersburg Naval Engineering School and Moscow Power Engineering Institute, Mikhail's career began in the thermal industry. "As a kid, like many boys I wanted to become a pilot to be able to fly over unknown lands"; Mikhail said. Although he may not have pursued a career as a pilot, he did travel all across the former Soviet Union while working as a service engineer in thermal power plants, meeting people from all over the world.
It is through these meetings that he came to work in the nuclear industry. He was recruited in 1974 by the Scientific and Production Association "Energy" which later became the All-Russian Institute for Nuclear Power Plant Operation (VNIIAES), where he worked for the next 15 years in various roles. His experience included involvement in thermal testing at Kola, Armenia and Kursk nuclear power plants as well as review of plant performance indicators.
Attributing his success to hard work and a loving family, Mikhail claims the biggest challenge he has ever faced, and is still facing today, is sharing his life experience with his children. This, in many ways, sums up his 25-year career at WANO, during which he has worked in the Operating Experience team, collating, analysing and sharing operating experience across the nuclear industry.
Between 2011 and 2013, Mikhail worked in the Operating Experience Central Team in the WANO London Office, before returning to the WANO Moscow Centre. Describing himself as "responsible, disciplined and precise", anyone who has had the privilege of working with him will certainly recognise these qualities in him. With his energy, efficiency and drive, he is certainly a colleague you don't forget.
So as we all wish Mikhail Isaev a very Happy 75th Birthday, WANO would also like to thank him for 25 years of hard work, enthusiasm and dedication to enhancing the safety of the nuclear industry worldwide.
And what is Mikhail's motto? "Do not envy and smile more often." From a man with a wealth of experience such as his, it is worth taking his advice.